Windows 10 beta build 14361 closes in on the final Anniversary update, but problems remain

Microsoft releases another round of bug fixes and small tweaks, but LastPass still has a ways to go

Windows 10 beta build 14361 closes in on the final Anniversary update, but problems remain

Yesterday Microsoft released the latest Windows 10 beta, build 14361, 10.0.14361.0.rs1_release.160603-1700. The About Windows box (type "winver" in Cortana) says we're up to Version 1607 (OS Build 14361.0), thus confirming that Microsoft expects to ship the final version next month -- which should come as a surprise only to a few goatherds in the Gobi Desert.

I had a chance to play with this build overnight, and it's solid as a rock in general -- but there are still a few disquieting surprises.

You can read about the highlights in Win10 Insider laureate Dona Sarkar's official blog post. In addition to a long list of bug fixes, Sarkar tells us about improvements to Docker technology in Hyper-V Containers; improvements in Windows Ink, including a longer ruler and a new button that erases everything (primarily of import to those of you with Surface Books and Surface Pros); and a whole lot of cosmetic changes (if you get excited about highlighting in the Settings applet, knock yourself out).

The point that interested me most in her rundown was this:

LastPass extension for Microsoft Edge: We are excited to announce that LastPass, a popular free password management extension, is now available for download. Visit our extensions page at the Microsoft Edge Dev website to learn more and try it out for yourself!

Several hours after that blog was published, it was updated to add this sentence:

Be sure to check out the list of known issues for the LastPass extension here.

I've been anxious to get LastPass working with Edge -- the last beta build was a disaster, for me -- so I pushed ahead with this new version. I found the new LastPass, version 4.1.1.5, to be full-featured, including all of the nooks and crannies that LastPassers love. I was disappointed, though, to see that running an import/export required the use of a "binary version" (whatever that is) which didn't work.

Looking at the Developer site changelog, LastPass also has these problems:

  • Copying with keyboard shortcuts does not work in the LastPass extension popup
  • Creating a new profile from the LastPass popup may crash the browser
  • LastPass Vault fails to load when there are no items in the vault
  • LastPass icons overlap the default placeholder glyphs for credential textboxes

Tellingly, the LastPass blog on the release says:

We're still working hard on the extension, with more great improvements to come as the Microsoft team also makes enhancements to Microsoft Edge browser.

You may read that differently, but it sounds to me like Edge is having protracted problems getting extensions to work.

I also had intermittent problems with LastPass -- at times it was very slow, at other times it refused to recognize certain sites unless I waited for many minutes. I'd be willing to bet that the LastPass extension is one of the major roadblocks standing in the way of getting the Anniversary update out in time for the, er, Anniversary.

One of the AskWoody.com contributors, PK Cano, experienced repeated crashes in the Settings app when working with Privacy applet. Although it doesn't solve the problem, that's a known issue, documented in Sarkar's blog post:

Navigating to the Privacy pages in Settings app will crash the Settings app and prevent you from adjusting your privacy settings. Your privacy settings already set will remain intact after updating to this build.

There are also documented problems with the French language version (which doesn't install at all) and an Edge file downloading glitch that occurs when you click a download link.

Looking around the build, I found that there's still no clean way to turn off Cortana. In build 10586 you can turn off Cortana by going into the Notebook, Settings applet and then simply turning Cortana off. There's no analogous setting in build 14631, and it's not clear if the "Stop getting to know me" switch in the Windows Settings Privacy applet really does turn off Cortana.

There have also been numerous complaints that the 12 hours being given to block a reboot isn't sufficient. (Click Start > Settings > Update & security > Windows Update, on the right click the link to Change active hours.) In earlier Win10 beta builds, you could set aside a block of 10 hours where Win10 would never reboot your system. With version 14631, that blackout period has been extended to 12 hours (I haven't had a chance to test it yet). But some people figure 12 hours isn't long enough. No idea why Microsoft doesn't simply extend the blackout period to 18 hours or more. 

I've also seen multiple reports that the new Microsoft Authenticator app -- the one that will ultimately let you unlock your Win10 PC from a Windows 10 phone, running over Bluetooth -- crashes frequently. If you were planning to buy a Windows phone to run Authenticator, better to keep that money in your pocket.

As usual there's an excellent, comprehensive, staccato list of changes at changewindows.org.

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